In volatile trade, the benchmark Sensex broke a three-day up move and closed 43.09 points down on Wednesday on emergence of profit-booking and weak global cues, amid renewed fears of US Fed tapering its economic stimulus.
Sectors including FMCG, consumer durables and banking saw selling while realty, oil and metal scrips witnessed buying.
The Sensex, which had gained 477.75 points in the previous three sessions and touched a one-month high, resumed lower reacting to tepid global markets. Later, it hit a high of 20,927.05 but could not sustain gains. The index finally closed down 43.09 points, or 0.21%, at 20,854.92.
Losses in ITC, Larsen & Toubro and HDFC Bank shares dragged the 30-share barometer lower. Dr Reddys Lab and Sesa Sterlite were the biggest laggards. On the other hand, gains in RIL, GAIL and Infosys shares cushioned the drop.
Brokers said profit-booking was triggered by a weakening trend in global markets nature following three days of gains.
The 50-share NSE index Nifty fell by 16 points, or 0.26% to end at 6,201.85. Also, SX40 index of MCX Stock Exchange ended almost flat at 12,371.94, down 3.82 points.
"Nifty oscillated throughout the day within a mere range of 20 points as it nears the upper end of the broad range. The broad trading range continues to be 6250-5950. Hence, the existing up move may extend by another 50-60 odd points," said Shubham Agarwal, Associate VP & Senior Technical Equities Analyst, Motilal Oswal Securities.
Analysts said the Asian markets ended weak followed by a lower opening in Europe as investors awaited US jobs data.
Recent economic growth signals have sparked off fresh fears of the US Federal Reserve tapering its $85 billion monthly bond buys, they added.
Overall, seven of the 13 BSE sectoral indices closed in the red. The FMCG sector index suffered the most by losing 0.83%, follwed by consumer durables (0.58%), banking index (0.56%) and auto index (0.43%).